How to Use CBD Oil: A Beginner’s Guide
For whatever reason, people have forgotten how to listen to their own bodies. We tell folks, it’s CBD, it’s been outlawed for one hundred years, experiment. If you are taking CBD, you are part of a world-wide experiment.
We are not doctors or scientists. We are humble farm women who get the plants from the garden to the kitchen and then transform it to products we ship world- wide. We try to be sensible about things. And we are often surprised at the reluctance of people to start with CBD without someone specifically telling them how much to take, and what kind, and when. The vast majority of people, we find, could use some direction from a CBD doctor.
Alas, there is no such thing.
If someone is presented to me with a very serious illness, I blame Nixon and that person’s starved endocannabinoid system. In those ‘serious illness’ situations, I say ‘take more, not less’. It is just plain common sense that if one orange won’t cure scurvy, one small dose of CBD isn’t going to cure a starved endocannabinoid system. For people who are taking it for pain relief, it’s a different story. We say ‘start with 1/3 teaspoon of infused oil and work your way towards more if you get no relief’.
Before you begin taking CBD, like anything else, you have to decide what form of it you will take and what dosage. Many things factor in.
- Why are you taking it?
- According to this article by healthline.com, there are six main categories of reasons why someone would take CBD. Personally, we think this might be a bit random and a bit minimalist, but for purposes of this discussion, we will go with their list:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Improve sleepReduce seizures
- Soothe pain and inflammationImprove heart* health
- Improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease*
- *the Sisters would amend ‘heart health’ to include all organs; we would amend the reference to irritable bowel syndrome to include all colon and stomach issues and we would put at the top of the list the reason many of us use it: general health maintenance.
- What is your health situation?
- If you are taking a complicated set of pharmaceuticals to handle one or more serious illnesses, then the infused oil may have no effect. Oxycontin, for example, will trump any holistic pain relief every time. Oxy completely cuts one off from feeling their body at all! Also, if someone tells us they are taking try-this-a-pan and try-that-a-pan, we don’t know what that is and we tell them that they must consult with their doctors about CBD because we don’t know what to tell you. We have much experience with getting people off of their harmful pharmaceuticals with plant-based solutions, but not so much with making them mix and dance together.
- Are there mitigating circumstances that should be considered?
- In the chart I made for this discussion, one can see that the considerations are considerable. Follow the blue arrow down the chart and see that very simply put, we believe that as one’s health deteriorates from green to red, the more one is likely to benefit from the many healing compounds in pure plant oil, the most expensive version of CBD, but also, the form of the CBD that has the most amount of other healing compounds.
People are not linear, like the chart is. One could be young, with cancer, already bouncing around that chart.
There are two scenarios outlined in the chart.
Scenario #1 represents me. I am healthy, I work out and eat sensibly, but I am over sixty. My age indicates that I should take the pure plant oil on a daily basis, and I do, at night, before bed-time. Just one. I also take a tart cherry tablet as that helps me sleep.
Scenario #2 represents a person age 30 to 40, minor health issues controlled by pharmaceuticals, moderately overweight, and is taking the CBD for anxiety. But she is at risk of being made homeless, she has children, she is in a super stressful situation. We would say, ‘we have to fix your housing insecurity because all the natural medicines in the world are not going to make the anxiety go away. The anxiety is a natural response to looming homelessness’. CBD might help, but we believe that in order to fix this situation, there needs to be housing security. What I am saying is that in some cases, Universal Basic Income is more healing than CBD.
You can throw away the complicated first chart now. That was just to give you an example of the factors that influence health and what form of CBD to take. There is a second chart that is included for helping determine the dosage of the products we make.
How to Find Your Dosage
If you are using CBD-infused oil, measure your starting dosage in teaspoonfuls. Start with 1/3 teaspoonful and if you feel no effect within ten minutes, take another 1/3 teaspoonful. If there is still no effect after ten minutes, take another 1/3 teaspoonful. Your starting dosage might be one full dropperful or one full teaspoon. For the tincture, we advise the same starting point, same system. Listen to your body. Take more if you have no effect, take less if the effect is overwhelming.
Whether using the dropper in the oil or taking capsules, CBD is perfectly safe to take two every four hours for pain. Understand that if you are healthy and have no pain issues, two gelcaps of approximately 25 mg each could make you sleepy. We take two if we have a cold or sickness, but then, it is straight to bed. Two gelcaps make 130 to 150-pound women in good health, sleep soundly. We are told, though, that people in great pain don’t have the same effect. They can take two for pain and not be sleepy. So the effects vary.
We believe that the cannabis plant is collaborative, cooperative and intelligent. We believe it often gives what the body needs, seemingly, on an individual basis.
If you are taking pure plant oil that has both a high amount of CBD and a high amount of THC, be cautious and take in small, small, micro-doses. We don’t sell such a product, because we are not in the business of selling psychoactive products, but we have made it before for cancer patients and for sisters suffering from fibromyalgia. Some sicknesses demand the THC.
For a topical salve, we recommend rubbing it on the painful areas three times a day at the beginning, and then gradually, work towards once per day. Again, following the philosophy of feeding the starved endocannabinoid system more at the beginning and after experiencing some consistent pain relief, then starting to reduce the dosage or applications. For folks suffering with chronic pain, we advise them to get CBD into their systems from both directions – topically (outside in) and ingested (inside out).
How Much CBD is Too Much CBD and What Happens if You Take Too Much?
CBD is expensive, so it isn’t normal for people to ‘take too much’. The single study we know about on the subject says that 1,500 mg is the maximum amount someone should take but the Sisters believe that amount is five times higher than the dosage any doctors we know have recommended, even for the seriously ill. We don’t know of any doctors recommending that much.
Just be Sensible
The Sisters have been working with CBD patients for over five years now and have over ten thousand repeat customers world-wide. We know some things, but we also know there is a lot we don’t know. It’s all highly experimental still. Proceed sensibly.